Product: Samsung Mini Bluetooth Headset WEP500Manufacturer:
]Lowest Historical Price: $14
Bluetooth headsets have been available for a few years now, and recently there have been some certifiably tiny headsets on the market. Here we take a look at Samsung's diminutive WEP-500 Bluetooth headset. Its footprint is only slightly larger than a quarter, plus it's shinier.Unboxing
I was able to pick up this headset for just about $15 after rebate, which is pretty good for something that appears to be one of the smallest headsets currently available. It comes in a fairly plain black box that displays the headset as well as the charging cradle. Also included in the box are four different sized ear nubs, an ear clip, AC adapter, and a proprietary Samsung phone charger-to-cradle adapter.Design
The headset itself is built very well, with extremely tight tolerances all around. There is virtually no gap in the mating lines for the plastic halves, and all of the buttons have a nice engagement feel when pressed. The status indicator LED is brilliant, without the uneven light distribution that can cause a product to look cheap.
You would think that finding a proper fit with the 4 ear nubs included would be just a matter of trying each one. Alas, none of the fit options were satisfactory compared to my previous headset, the Bluespoon AX2. I ended up using the nub from the Bluespoon instead of the included ones.Usage
As with most Bluetooth headsets these days, the WEP-500 has three buttons: Two for volume adjustment, and a main multifunction button. The volume buttons predictably adjust up and down, plus you can mute the microphone by pressing both simultaneously. The multifunction button has three modes depending on how long you hold it down. A quick press results in a redial of your last placed phone call (more on this later), a 2-second press activates your phone's voice menu, and a 4-second press turns the headset on or off.Sound Quality
The speaker produces sound that is better than any other headset I've heard. With the stock ear nubs the volume isn't quite enough for noisy environments, but that can be solved if you get a better sealing 3rd party ear gel. To find out about the WEP-500's sound quality on the recipient side, I tested with the headset right up against a noisy AC unit. The conversation was able to continue, however there was some noise audible to the call recipient. Regular voice quality in a quiet environment was top-notch.Downsides
The redial function has to go. It's too easy to accidentally press the button, resulting in an unintended redial to a friend, or worse a business contact. It wouldn't be as bad if the first touch instead activated voice dialing, but to have it redial is flat out unacceptable.
Charging the WEP-500 requires that the headset be placed in a charging cradle. This means that there's yet another charging accessory polluting your desk, and another power brick wasting electricity. I would have much rather preferred if it charged via a standard mini-USB connection.Conclusion
The Samsung WEP-500 Bluetooth Headset has hints of brilliance, and yet is held back by some clear oversights. It packs respectable voice performance and noise cancellation technology into a tiny speck of an earpiece. The engineers at Samsung need to work out a better solution for the fit, redial function, and charging hardware. If only these few aspects were addressed, the Samsung WEP-500 would be a great Bluetooth headset.Image Gallery Price History